The Future of Finance: Fintech in 2021

One of the most talked-about sectors in 2021, financial technology, commonly known as fintech, is more than just a buzzword. This cutting-edge field is poised for explosive growth over the following decades. Financial organizations looking to keep up with the competition should hire STEM workers with the expertise to keep their company on the leading edge of fintech’s many applications.

For STEM professionals looking to advance their careers, fintech offers a wealth of opportunities in a groundbreaking field through specialties like blockchain, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence (AI).  This tech field is transforming every aspect of the financial world with innovations in cryptocurrency, loans, trading, and more. As fintech gains greater relevance, both companies and STEM workers must stay aware of trends in this evolving sector.

Defining Fintech

Financial technology encompasses all applications of software used to automate and otherwise improve financial services. As the portmanteau suggests, fintech combines advanced technology like AI and data science with conventional financial functions.1

A significant example of a transformative fintech application is mobile payments and monetary transfers, widely adopted by Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z. With the proliferation of mobile payment apps like Cash App and Venmo and mobile banking apps, consumers increasingly expect money management from the convenience of their cellphones.2 Fintech also includes technology related to risk management, financial security, digital lending, and more.

Up-and-Coming Trends

Ease-of-access is a major selling point for consumers fueling fintech’s adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more day-to-day activities going fully digital. Consumers can now access financial services that once required a drive to the bank from their smartphone, and social distancing emphasized this expediency.

Reports indicate that the mobile wallet industry will be worth about 2.4 trillion dollars during 2021, a massive 24 percent growth rate from 2020.3 In 2021, large financial institutions will continue digitizing due to this demand. Digital banks will also gain prevalence due to cheaper, more efficient operations.4 Contactless transactions are another rising trend driven by COVID-19 restrictions. Data suggests that the market for contactless payments could reach a value of 18 billion dollars by 2025.5

Over the last decade, fintech has radically improved risk management with AI and cloud computing, stabilizing aspects of the finance industry. Blockchain, a tamperproof database system, will further revolutionize digital financial security in 2021, and data predicts blockchain solution spending will reach 15.9 billion dollars by 2023.4 Research also shows growing trust in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Ethereum, supported by Tesla’s recent multimillion-dollar bitcoin investment.5

Top Fintech Careers for the Future

A variety of careers are available in fintech, especially for technology professionals. One up-and-coming career is a position as a cybersecurity analyst. With the rise of online and cloud-based financial platforms, financial institutions deal with countless cyberattacks. This issue translates to a massive need for cybersecurity professionals. In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures projects 2021 estimates of about 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs.7 Following the trend of increased cybersecurity is the growing demand for blockchain developers. Because blockchain technology eliminates unnecessary intermediaries, it boosts efficiency and speed while reducing costs.

As the financial sector rapidly evolves, many fintech businesses are seeking bank charters, resulting in a slew of regulatory issues to navigate. With fintech companies taking on new roles in banking, these organizations now need risk and compliance professionals to deal with regulations and analyze risk.

For mathematics experts, a position as a quantitative analyst allows the application of advanced math skills to finance. These professionals design trading programs and complex algorithms and advise large banks and hedge funds about decision-making to maximize profit. More applications of AI and machine learning mean that demand for this position will continue to grow. Alongside quantitative analysts, STEM professionals interested in specializing in AI and machine learning can pursue this niche as machine learning engineers.

Staying Ahead of the Cutting Edge

The pandemic has increased the adoption of certain fintech applications, but this transformative sector is here to stay. Convenient financial service applications have changed the ways consumers use banks, and advanced technologies are revolutionizing digital finance security.

STEM professionals looking to make a living in an exciting, cutting-edge sector should look to fintech for the future of their careers. Likewise, finance and finance-adjacent organizations that recognize the power of this sector will outpace their competition as consumer preferences evolve. 

If you’re a skilled professional or an aspiring STEM candidate, AppleOne has the experience to help you find roles you’re passionate about with top companies in science, technology, engineering, and math sectors. To learn more about how AppleOne can help you take the next steps in your career, visit AppleOne at


The Great Shift: The Perspective Change of Employees and Employers

The majority of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 saw notably low hiring rates due to the pandemic. Job postings and hirings were significantly down[1], and hiring managers, companies, and workers were all directly impacted. Employers and analysts alike were relatively unsure of what to expect in the second quarter of 2021, predicting that hiring numbers would steadily increase, but that the number of job postings would increase faster. And with these predictions having proven to be true – with job postings outnumbering hiring and the active labor workforce percentages stagnating – it’s clear that the pandemic has caused several priority and perspective shifts for both employees and employers.

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Employer Branding—Why It’s Important and Where to Start

Branding is sometimes difficult to conceptualize. For many business leaders, branding often seems like adaunting, abstract function that controls what the world thinks about their companies. If it’s hard to master one brand identity, you may be questioning, “Why should I put effort towards an additional brand identity?” The answer is simple: in 2021, when competition for talent is at an all-time high, you need to take the next step to differentiate your company from competitors.

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How to Be an Ally to LGTBQAI+ Co-workers

LGBTQAI+ activists have made significant progress in the fight for workplace equality. After the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock vs. Clayton County, it became illegal to fire someone for their sexual orientation or gender identity in the United States. Despite these legal protections, members of the community may still encounter prejudice in the professional world, and it’s up to everyone to create a more inclusive environment. A vital aspect of supporting LGBTQAI+ rights in the workplace requires straight, cisgender co-workers to do more than not discriminate but stand as faithful allies in the fight for progress. Everyone benefits when those who are not a part of the LGBTQAI+ community demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity and allyship. Here are five key steps to deepening your understanding of LGBTQAI+ issues and showing your commitment to inclusion as an ally.

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The Future of Staffing: Robotic Process Automation

The numbers don’t lie. Robotic process automation (RPA) is transforming recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and the entire staffing industry. According to Staffing Industry Analysts research, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of RPA to support remote work. 2020 represented the first year where RPO organizations adopted RPA at scale.1 So, what does this wide-scale adoption mean for staffing? These technologies have massive implications for recruitment processes. From automated candidate matching to programmatic advertising, RPA will continue to reshape staffing and organizations. Those that fail to adapt, run the risk of falling behind the competitive curve.

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Top 8 Tips to Master LinkedIn’s new profile enhancement feature called Cover Story

LinkedIn is pioneering the era of sharing our story with our professional ecosystems by releasing a set of cutting-edge new profile features. One of the standout features is called “Cover Story,” where you can record a “hello” video as part of your profile photo frame. According to LinkedIn’s Tomer Cohen “The most interesting part of every professional journey is the story behind it. No two professionals are the same: your career paths, skills, dreams, and aspirations are unique. Sharing your professional journey in an authentic and engaging way is the starting point for connecting with the communities that matter most to you.” 

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Cutting-Edge Jobs That Don’t Require A Four-Year Degree

As new technology revolutionizes the world around us, there is an increased need for skilled workers to build, maintain, and operate these cutting-edge products. While popular culture may associate these jobs with higher education, particularly advanced university degrees, a wide range of these careers are available for those without a traditional four-year education. For these jobs, training and certification can occur outside the classroom, with on-the-job training and apprenticeships helping to get workers quickly up to speed.

Here are four examples of cutting-edge new jobs that don’t require a four-year degree.

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Five Tips for a Successful Virtual Interview

Virtual interviews are the new normal, and it looks like they are here to stay. According to a Gartner survey, 86 percent of organizations have conducted video interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pair this with a LinkedIn study showing that 71 percent of companies will continue this practice post-COVID-19, and it becomes apparent that job seekers should expect a majority of their interviews to take place virtually.

While they aren’t exactly a new phenomenon, many job seekers don’t feel comfortable interviewing via webcam. Here are five tips that will help you master your virtual interview:

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The Reality of Automation and the Future of Work

The threat of automation is not a new thing, nor are the worries that come with it. In the early 19th century, textile artisans in the Luddite movement fought automation for fear of losing their jobs and livelihood. They worried that newly developed automation (think basic machinery) would leave them jobless. While it’s true that changes did occur, by the time the 20th century came along, employment-to-population ratios rose despite these technological advances. The workforce generally is good at adapting to new technology, and while automation will continue to take over new tasks as it evolves, humans don’t have as much to worry about as they may think. As a job seeker, here are three things to know about automation: 

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